In Praise of Bernard Herrmann


Ok,  so I’m sitting here alone in the dark scaring myself crazy for the umpteenth time watching Hitchcock’s masterpiece Psycho.

It reminded me of a Saturday night in the early 1960s when my parents left my sister and I home for the evening — I think we were 11 and 12 — and one of the television networks actually broadcast the film. We were terrified and our parents came home to us whimpering and cowering in the corner of the living room.

The reason I stopped the film for a moment, though, is that yet again I am marvelling at the musical score by the extraodinary Bernard Herrmann.


Have a film and a musical score ever fit together so well, with such extraordinary and terrifying results? In fact, have a director and composer ever been so indispensable to each other?

Don’t laugh, but it just might be a little too dark and little too late and a little too rainy here on the east coast to turn it back on. Janet Leigh is about to be stopped by THE POLICEMAN and, if you’ve never seen the film and never seen THE POLICEMAN’S sun glasses,  get some friends to keep you company and do so immediately.

Or maybe I could fast-forward past THE POLICEMAN. Let me go get a Mallomar while I decide.  In fact, I think that unfinished barbecued chicken leg is still in the fridge.

3 thoughts on “In Praise of Bernard Herrmann

  1. Aside from Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Hermann, I think that Federico Fellini and Nino Rota are the only other director/composer team that have ever been indispensable to each other – that I can think of – maybe, Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone.

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